Striving for normal.
Grasping desperately for adequacy.
Striving for that
one pure moment
that makes the slide...stop.
Sadness and despair
even after the armistice,
no glory for the soldiers
when the war is lost.
I have wheelbarrows
full of promissory notes
but they're not worth the paper
they're printed on.
Punch drunk and bleary-eyed,
this is where I have stumbled to,
spun and confused,
just trying to get
that metallic taste out of my mouth.
Some schoolboy once told me
to roll away the stone
but he's never been to Golgotha
and the great resurrection
may be a long way off.
The Welbutrin overcomes the urge
for nicotine and wires me out
so that I stop biting my nails.
Damn, it even curbs the gnawing need
to nibble neurotically until I'm numb.
I take four Norotin at bedtime
to take the edge off my head.
But I don't like the side effects.
I have to turn off the lights
when I get nauseous
but when the alternative
is flipped out screaming mania,
you learn to live sea sick.
She had taken her psych medication cocktail.
Meds, we called our multi-colored pills,
Have you taken your meds today
would come the call intoned
in sweet saccharine sounds.
A twenty-sack only lasts an evening
if you smoke slowly,
teasing yourself with a buzz.
Every one of us eager to cosign
on the other's rationalization.
All the burnt codependents
smoking themselves numb.
Sometimes survival is its own reward.
I'll tell you, friend,
if you know what you're looking for
you can spot the ones
who have witnessed the train derail,
witnessing the wheels falling off the boxcars.
She had the last word
as she passed me the cashed bowl.
I spoke to your grandmother on Thursday.
She said she was taking you
and your half-sister
and the rest of the grandkids
to the ice capades,
101 Dalmatians on ice
Walt's frozen head.
Grandma Sally told me
how tall you had gotten
when she saw you at Christmas
and that your face had filled out.
Your vocabulary, she said,
is quite extensive now
and your lisp has disappeared.
I wish I could see your new face
and hear your confident young voice,
the voice I have not heard
in over a year,
the face I have not seen in even longer.
The best of the schoolboy poets
told me that I needed
to get in touch with my feelings
but I know better.
My mother told me she is going
to take you to the ice capades.
101 Dalmatians on ice
and Walt's head
and my heart.